Three years ago, Brooke saw her beloved Godspell live for the first time.
Then, just as last night, we were blessed by the generosity of a cast and crew who made their show accessible to our family by opening their dress rehearsal to us.
Then, just as last night, it was nothing less than magic.
I’ll write more about the evening tomorrow, but for now, I offer up the stories from three years ago. The background, and the first show, after which I’d written this –
It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I saw the status that Luau had put up on his Facebook page on Sunday night. He had written, “For three hours tonight, life felt .. typical.”
I had a very different experience. While I don’t take anything at all away from his sentiment, I have to say it was nothing like mine. For me, the night was anything BUT typical. He later told me that he felt like autism wasn’t there. That for three ecstatic hours, it had receded into the background and blessedly, finally, just didn’t matter.
For me, autism was front and center that night. Autism was part of what made the whole thing what it was. There is nothing in our world that compares to Brooke’s pervasive and abiding love of Godspell. Sure, Katie loves Taylor Swift and a show would be a hoot. But does she listen to her EVERY day, google her, watch clips of her EVERY chance she gets? Does she draw pictures of her in Halloween costumes, at the dinner table, riding on a rocket ship? Does she talk about her, reference her, create games and scripts and whole worlds around her? Is she literally imbedded in every aspect of her life? No.
I can think of nothing that comes close.
If Brooke were not who she is – autism and all – that experience would never have been what it was. For her nor for us. While I’m not ready to say that I’m grateful for autism in and of itself, I am deeply thankful that within it there are moments like this. Moments of grace, moments of joy, moments when judgement is replaced by generosity and kindness and the world comes together to make something wonderful happen for a little girl who deserves nothing less.
And if you just haven’t gotten enough after all of that, I give you the story of our trip to New York to the Broadway Revival …